Tag Archives: Naturalism

NATURALISM

In our quest to better understand the society in which we live today, we must look back into the past and see from where we came in the emergence and evolution of humanism in our world.  One worldview that has been around a long time and is prevalent in today’s world is “Naturalism”.  This worldview is the underpinning of today’s scientific community and many intellectuals.  It is basically taught in schools, in our societal structures, psychology etc.

As Christians, we believe in a transcendent God who created the universe and everything in it.  For the naturalist, anything pertaining to God, and creation, is vigorously opposed as we often see in debates, for example, comparing creation and evolution.  The naturalist believes the universe was not created, but instead, it always existed and will always exist churning out newer and more adaptable species through evolution.  It is like one of those closed biosphere models we sometimes see where plants grow in their own closed system and never need to be watered.  Given billions and billions of years, evolution will adapt plants and animals (including the human “animal”) to the biosphere’s environment.

Carl Sagan, a well-known astronomer, wrote: “The Cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” (Cosmos. New York: Random House. 1980. Pg. 63).  At least for me, that statement doesn’t give me much to look forward to.  Ten pages later he also said: “It is all a matter of time scale. An event that would be unthinkable in a hundred years may be inevitable in a hundred million.”  This is the fundamental difference between the naturalist belief that the earth and the universe are billions and billions of years old, vs. the Biblical worldview of creation that would put make the earth about 6-8,000 years old.  The law of non-contradiction says they both cannot be true.  Thus, it isn’t likely to see any resolution between the Christian and naturalist worldview.

Another major conflict in the worldview still remains in Genesis 1, just as creation.  The naturalist believes we are just animals; physical beings like the cows and puppies.  Here today… gone tomorrow.  Again, that doesn’t leave me, at least, with much hope for the future.  It also may explain why the #1 question people have is “Why am I here and what is my purpose in life?”  With that worldview, there isn’t much purpose, just another animal in a speck of time.   This worldview is in direct contrast to Genesis 1:26-27Genesis 1:26-27
English: World English Bible - WEB

26 God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.

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which says God made man in His own image with a body, mind (soul) and spirit.  Paul also affirms this in his first letter to the Thessalonians: “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.[1]

Another major difference is where each worldview claims its source of “truth”.  Christians believe the Bible is the source of “absolute truth” and thus it is the source of all we believe.  Naturalists cite science and philosophy as their sources of truth.  Without going into a lot of detail about either of these, philosophy is man’s intellectual “opinion”, not necessarily fact, and science, although helpful in many respects, is often wrong.  If either were “absolute”, once stated, the science or philosophy would never change.  Because it is not “absolute”, and both have radically changed over time, one cannot rely on either to build a solid foundation for life let alone a worldview.  Science once said the world was flat, but the Bible states many times “as far as the east is from the west” but never the north from the south.  That means even in ancient Biblical times, the writers of the Bible had supernatural knowledge that the earth was a globe spinning on an axis, less they would have also said as far as the north is from the south.  Even Isaiah wrote: “It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”  (Isaiah 40:22Isaiah 40:22
English: World English Bible - WEB

22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants of it are as grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in;

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)  The Bible hasn’t changed.  Science has changed over time.

Yet in spite of this evidence, our educators have taught us that science is the ultimate source of truth.  We need only look at the thinking of young people in our universities and those graduating from them, that they have been mentally programmed to believe this philosophy of truth that in reality has little or no basis.  Math is an absolute science; however, other forms are not so absolute.

 

[1] The New King James Version. (1982). (1 Thes 5:231 Thes 5:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.